By Whitney Hopler, Crosswalk.com
Prayer is a powerful tool that connects us with God’s divine presence. An important quality of God for us to connect with is God’s oneness, which speaks of the unity God has within the Trinity (God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit) and the loving ways God includes all believers in one spiritual family with him. Several famous prayers in worship services serve as “I believe in one God” prayer examples that emphasize God’s oneness. Through prayer, we can explore and embrace the profound truth of God’s oneness, allowing it to transform our faith and our relationships with God and each other.
Is There an Official “I Believe in One God” Prayer?
There is no one prayer that is universally known as the “I believe in one God” prayer. However, there are many prayers that express this belief. The Nicene Creed, which is a statement of faith that is used by many Christian churches, begins with the words “I believe in one God” and goes on to describe the nature of God and the work of Jesus. Often, when people speak of an “I believe in one God” prayer, they’re referring to the Nicene Creed. But they may also be referring to several other famous prayers with words that emphasize God’s oneness.
Examples of “I Believe in One God” Prayers
The most well-known example of an “I believe in one God” prayer is from the Nicene Creed statement of faith. The first part of the creed reads: “We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made; of the same essence as the Father. Through him, all things were made.” Later on, the Nicene Creed mentions the Holy Spirit: “And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life. He proceeds from the Father, and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified. He spoke through the prophets.”
The Apostles’ Creed is another example of a prayer that contains language describing the unity within the Trinity of God. It begins: “I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived of the Holy Spirit…” Just like the Nicene Creed, the Apostles’ Creed is a statement of faith that Christians recite in prayer during worship services.
Another famous prayer that emphasizes God’s oneness is the Shema, which is an ancient Jewish prayer meant to be recited twice daily – in the morning and at night. It begins with the words of Deuteronomy 6:4 from the Torah (the first five books of the Bible): “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” The Shema goes on to encourage full devotion to God and regular remembrance of what God has done.
In the Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus presents as an example of how to pray (in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4), the first words emphasize the holiness of God’s name, which includes God’s unified nature. The Lord’s Prayer, as Christians usually pray it, is taken directly from the Gospel of Matthew, and the first part of the prayer (Matthew 6:9-10) reads: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
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Why We Should Pray These Prayers
Focusing on God’s oneness in our prayers helps us:
Acknowledge God’s Sovereignty: When we pray about God’s oneness, we acknowledge God's sovereignty and supreme authority over all creation. Recognizing his oneness helps us understand that there is no other power that can compare to him. Our prayers become an act of surrender, humility, and reverence as we submit ourselves to the one true God. When a teacher of the Jewish law asked Jesus to tell him which one of God’s commandments is the most important, Jesus responded by referencing the commandments from Deuteronomy 6:4-5 that begin by acknowledging God’s oneness. Jesus says in Mark 12:29-30: “‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’”
Strengthen Our Faith: Praying about God's oneness strengthens our faith by deepening our understanding of who God truly is. As Christians, our faith is built upon the belief in the one true God. Praying about God’s oneness opens our minds to a greater revelation of God’s holy character. This knowledge strengthens our trust and confidence in God, enabling us to navigate life's challenges with stronger faith. We also align ourselves with biblical truth and safeguard ourselves from theological errors or misconceptions, ensuring that our understanding of God is rooted in scripture. Through prayer, we reaffirm our commitment to worship and serve the one true God, keeping our focus on him alone and guarding ourselves being distracted by idols. Proverbs 3:5-6 exhorts us: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Deepen Our Intimacy with God: We can deepen our intimacy with God by praying about his oneness. As we seek to understand the depth and magnitude of God’s oneness, we draw closer to his heart. Our prayers become more than just petitions. They become conversations with the One who is intimately involved in every aspect of our lives. We pour out our thoughts and feelings and seek his will, and in the process, we align ourselves with God’s divine purpose. Embracing God’s oneness in prayer opens the door to a more profound and intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father, where we develop a lifestyle of worship that leads us to God’s wonder. As my book Wake Up to Wonder shares, we’ll naturally be inspired by awe anytime and anywhere we seek God with pure motives – simply to enjoy God’s presence. God loves to see us pursue time with him just because we love him, rather than because of what he can do for us. Focusing our prayers on God’s oneness helps us do that. God promises to come near to us when we come near to him. James 4:8 reveals: “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Foster Unity through Love: Finally, praying about God’s oneness fosters greater unity and love in relationships with our spiritual family of fellow believers who are all connected to God together with us. When we recognize and embrace God’s oneness, we can see the importance of loving unity within the body of Christ. Focusing on God’s oneness helps us pursue healing for divisions, and promote love and understanding, so we can reflect God’s character in our daily lives. God’s oneness inspires us to embrace God’s call to love one another. Our prayers then become a catalyst for fostering reconciliation and loving relationships that reflect the oneness of our Heavenly Father. In John chapter 17, Jesus prays a long prayer for unity between God and the people who have relationships with God. Jesus often emphasizes oneness in his prayer. In John 17:20-23, Jesus prays for all believers, asking God the Father: “… I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Prayer is a powerful way to explore and embrace God’s oneness. As we do, we can draw us closer to God and others in the body of Christ. “I believe in one God” prayers remind us that we are part of a wondrous story orchestrated by a singular, all-powerful God who wants us to be united in loving relationships with him and each other. This perspective shifts our focus from individualism to a communal understanding of God’s redemptive work. It encourages us to view others through the lens of God’s love and recognize our interconnectedness as members of the body of Christ. Praying about God’s oneness helps us align our thoughts, attitudes, and actions with God’s divine purposes, bringing about positive transformation in our lives.
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Whitney Hopler is the author of the Wake Up to Wonder book and the Wake Up to Wonder blog, which help people thrive through experiencing awe. She leads the communications work at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Whitney has served as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations, including Crosswalk.com, The Salvation Army USA’s national publications, and Dotdash.com (where she produced a popular channel on angels and miracles). She has also written the young adult novel Dream Factory. Connect with Whitney on Twitter and Facebook.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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This article is part of our Prayer resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.